West Auckland's Massey High School is "heartbroken and in shock" after two of its students died in a swollen stream in the Waitakere Ranges in the weekend storm.
Sosi Turagaiviu and Mitch Woolley, both 17, were year 13 students at the college this year and keen members of the soccer team.
Mitch and his twin brother Denver, who clung to a tree in the swollen stream at Cascade Falls until he was winched to safety by the Westpac rescue helicopter on Saturday night, were students in the college's engineering academy.
"We made a motorbike each last year," said a fellow student Abishek Sharma. "This year we are all supposed to make go-karts."
School principal Glen Denham said his thoughts and prayers were with Sosi and Mitch's families.
"We are heartbroken and in shock," he said.
"They were beautiful boys. The world is a poorer place."
The Ranui-Swanson Football Club, in which both boys played until recently, posted on Facebook: "It's never easy when someone passes, but when its a young person it is so much harder to comprehend."
Club president Toni Talijancich said the boys "enriched not just our sport but all of our lives".
"They will now become part of our game forever and will always be in our hearts and minds when we step out on to the pitch," she said.
Another friend, Matt Molloy, said Mitch and Denver switched last year to the Waitakere Rangers Gorillas team in the Christian Football Association, which has also posted its "condolences and prayers" for the two families.
He said the boys' father coached their teams in the Ranui club and at the school, and Abishek Sharma said the boys' father also helped with their engineering projects.
"That's how they got a lot of their stuff, their dad used to help them out at home," he said.
He said the twins' mother drove the group of five friends to the Cascade Falls area, then turned back to look for them when the downpour hit.
"When she saw it started raining she went back, and it was only between five and 10 minutes when this happened," he said.
Abishek was working and was not able to join the trip, but he said one of the other friends made it out to get help, but a fifth was still in intensive care in hospital.
He said Sosi Turagaiviu had just bought a car on Friday and was planning to pick it up on Wednesday.
"He would always talk about cars," Abishek said. "He never got to drive it."
He said Sosi was humble and generous, and was always the one who offered to pay for food for his friends.
"Just a day before, someone crashed into my car. I told him and he came running with his umbrella," he said.
"He was about five minutes away. His mum was going to take him in the car but she was busy so he started running from his house [with the umbrella]."
Another friend, Jacob Tupe, posted on Facebook: "Rest in peace Sosi Turagaiviu had a great time at Air Cadets with you. Rest in peace Mitch Woolley was awesome to spend Year 13 camp with you. Had many laughs and so much fun."